Toronto Raptors (29-31) at Detroit Pistons (15-45)
Game Info: Saturday, February 25, 2023 at 12:00 p.m. EST (Little Caesers Arena)
Betting Odds: Raptors (-6.5) / Over/Under (TBD)
Pick: Raptors (-6.5)
Get ready for an NBA game to watch with your mid-afternoon lunch on Saturday when the Toronto Raptors head into The Motor City to meet the Pistons.
Toronto may finally be starting to turn things around. Now sitting at 29-31 off of a good stretch, with 22 games left in the regular season, they are in striking distance with a top-6 seed that would put them in the Playoffs without having to battle it out in a Play-In game. After reports were out that two-way forward OG Anunoby was unhappy with the team and was requesting a trade, the Raptors have been able to put that to the side and win 6 out of their last 7 games (4-3 ATS in that run). Since acquiring Jakob Poeltl for his second stint with the team since being drafted 9th by Toronto in the 2016 Draft, he has played as good as any center in the league after taking a few games to get reacclimated. In his last 2 games, he has put in 51 points with 27 rebounds on a stellar 85%+ shooting percentage. The Raptors were in desperate need of a big man and they may have found the perfect fit in a trade where they didn't have to give up much. As they try to continue to ascend the East Standings, games like this against severely inferior squads in Detroit will be crucial in their quest.
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Flipping over to the home team, Detroit has been... Detroit. Currently sitting at the foot of the Eastern Conference in the 15 hole, there hasn't been much for the eye to see when it comes to their brand of basketball. As the season heads into the last quarter, developing their young promising pieces will be at the top of their list. Rookie point guard, Jaden Ivey, was able to have one of the finer games of his young career coming out of the All-Star break, something the Pistons will hope he can carry on with for years to come. He put in 25 points on 69.2% shooting from the field. If the Pistons are to flip the script in years to come, Ivey and Cade Cunningham will have a big part in that turnaround. From a betting perspective, Detroit has covered the spread in 3 out of their last 4 games, something that they have only done two other teams during the season. As they look to make it 4 out of 5 games and possibly shock the Raptors as they welcome them onto their home floor, they will need a much better outing from their starting 5, as they all finished in the negative in plus/minus last game in Orlando versus the Magic.
Betting trends to consider in this matchup:
- Toronto is 4-2 ATS in their last 6 games
- Detroit is 11-22-3 ATS when playing on equal rest as the opposing team
- The Pistons are 12-20-2 ATS in Conference games
Although I don't love to take the angle of betting on a team that is playing in meaningful games versus a home squad that is out of the Playoff race, the Pistons are an absolutely abysmal team that has looked dysfunctional all year long. Regardless of the fact that Fred VanVleet is doubtful for this matchup, the Raptors at their best (which they are playing like it at the moment) are miles better than this Pistons squad. Give me Toronto to win by a few buckets and drop by drop make their way to the .500 mark.
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